Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Meatballs

This is another recipe that I have worked on over and over trying to fine tune it the way I want it. I know there are a million spaghetti and meatball recipes out there but I wanted mine to be just that, mine.

When I was a kid my Dad and I both loved Italian food and Mexican food so much. My Dad used to say that if he had been born Italian or Mexican he would be (these are his words) "Two ax handles across". We drove my mother crazy because we were huge carb junkies. Veggies smeggies give us pasta and we were happy!

Luckily I have learned to love veggies but my love for pasta is just as strong as it was when I was a kid. Growing up my Dad would always make his spaghetti with Ragu and then add some dry Italian spice mix to it along with maybe some salt and pepper. It wasn't much but just that little bit of "doctoring" the recipe made it better and made it his own.

I continued along the same method into my adulthood, although I used Prego instead of Ragu. I guess switching brands made me feel like I was making it my own I am not sure. Then I started to get really fancy and mix two different sauces together. Ohhh WOW right? I know. But once I had my  gastric bypass and really began this journey into really coming up with my own true recipes. Spaghetti and meatballs was high on my list.

Marinara sauce on its own is very healthy and if you want to make the meatballs lower calorie and healthier use ground turkey and turkey sausage. I will rotate how I make it at home to soothe the savage red meat beasts I have here. I can get away with turkey for awhile and then I can see in their faces that they need some red meat. Trust me I am using turkey more and more *wink* they are starting to not know the difference. Of course if Kevin is helping me cook I can't exactly sneak turkey in on him.


Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Meatballs

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (Recommended San Marzano)
2 6 ounce cans of tomatoes paste
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 pound lean ground beef 
1/2 pound Italian sausage (if your grocer doesn't have bulk just cut open the link type)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb spaghetti noodles

For the sauce:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in half of the minced garlic and cook one more minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomatoes paste, water, half of the chopped oregano, and the bay leaf. (Add more water if sauce seems too thick). Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer.

For the meatballs:
In a large bowl mix the ground beef, sausage, bread crumbs, oregano, garlic, parsley, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Roll into balls and drop into the sauce. Cook 40 minutes in the sauce.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, generously salt the boiling water and add the spaghetti noodles. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain. 

Serve the meatballs and sauce over the cooked spaghetti. Top with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.





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